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The SANCTUM Issue with Tamino

Surrendering to whatever’s happening in the moment

Belgian-Egyptian musician TAMINO-AMIR MOHARAM FOUAD (aka Tamino) is the singer-songwriter pulling on our heartstrings. Grandson to renowned movie star MUHARRAM FOUAD, Tamino has had stardom in his veins from the very beginning. Trained at the AMSTERDAM ROYAL CONSERVATORY, and having seen his first glimpse of fame with the 2017 release, Habibi, the artist has since been heard on stages around Europe. It was the release of his 2018 album, Amir, which made the world stop, listen and reflect as he hypnotised us all with tracks such as Indigo Night and goddess of nature, Persephone. After what felt like a prolonged hiatus — not so much as a cheeky Insta’ story — this year Tamino is back with his sophomore album, Sahar. Glamcult spoke with Tamino after the release of his first album, so why not make a tradition of it? From the flawless sounds of the Oud, the sight of a flamingo stuck in the mud, to his early days studying classical piano — we cover a lot from the backseat of a car en route to his Glamcult shoot in the depths of BELGIUM.

Hi Tamino. How’s it going?
I’m good thank you — ready for my Glamcult shoot, so you know all about my day! The location is crazy, I didn’t even know this existed in Belgium.

Yes, I’m the anonymous producer of your day, ha-ha. It’s going to be great. To start, could you tell us a bit about your musical beginnings?
Of course. So, if I go to the very beginning, I started with piano when I was around ten or eleven years old. It was my mum, actually, who proposed it, as she saw that I had a fascination for music. My mum also played classical piano, so it was a logical move for both myself and her. However, I didn’t last very long…

Logical — but less sustainable?
Honestly, I stopped because I didn’t have the patience to study the classical pieces to perfection. Because of this, I then decided to take a break from music for about a year before I started going back to the piano again. This time, I returned with a different mindset and I started to play freely; choosing my own chords and writing my own songs. This began when I was around fourteen.

So, no emo phase ha-ha?
Well, I did play in a couple of bands before finally performing solo at around seventeen.

I like this idea of beginning rigidly, and within that rigidity finding your draw to fluidity. Do you still feel like you need this freedom in music today as you did as a child?
I always pursue freedom in sound. Even though I love classical music (both listening to it and going to concerts) — and of course, I have admiration for those who are able to learn a piece to perfection. However, it just wasn’t for me as it was always someone else’s latest.

You recently released the single (and video) Fascination, one of the first tracks from your latest album, Sahar. What inspired this song?
Like most of my songs, it all began with noodling on the guitar. I usually begin by humming a melody before finding the words. For this song, however, the words came with the melody. There is this one specific anecdote within this song — “I didn’t cry for that flamingo stuck in the salt. Didn’t care for it at all, While you couldn’t hold your tears, Your fascinations always fascinated me.” This came from watching BBC Planet with my significant other. It was about how our different reactions to the same scene caused inspiration.

So, it can really come from anywhere… Any other unusual inspiration points?
It’s so difficult to pinpoint! Often it’s less specific than this case. That’s the beautiful thing about songwriting. Often you don’t know how it happens — which is strange in itself. Even though you can sharpen your tools through practice, you still never know what’s going to happen.

It’s a never-ending journey… 
Exactly. I feel like when it comes to songwriting, it’s very hard to become a master of your craft.

… To read the full interview, shop The SANCTUM Issue


Words by Grace Powell
Photography by Jorre Janssens
Styling by Misha Kratina
Styling assistance by Roos Schouten
Thank you Unique Designer Pieces and Roski Yard Vintage

All Images — Jacket ENSO VINTAGE, top model’s own, trousers ROSKI YARD VINTAGE, shoes GUCCI, bracelet GUY LAROCHE, necklace model’s own